Wayne County’s commissioners plan to ask county council members to allocate $500,000 from American Rescue Plan Act dollars for the replacement of in-ground fuel tanks.

Mike Sharp, the highway department’s superintendent, asked commissioners Nov. 8 to accept the $513,225 bid from Allied-Ott Petroleum Equipment. Commissioners unanimously did so.

The highway department has two 12,000-gallon in-ground tanks that need to be removed and a 1,000-gallon tank that needs to be closed. Aboveground tanks will replace the in-ground tanks.

Sharp has applied to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a $31,000 grant that pays half the $62,000 AOPE quoted for tank removal. He also is asking IDEM to pay half the removal for any contaminated soil found after the tanks are pulled from the ground. AOPE quoted an additional $139 for each cubic yard of contaminated soil that will be removed.

Sharp indicated his department will pour the concrete pads where the new tanks will sit and erect the barriers to protect the tanks. Asphalt work on the highway department lot at its U.S. 40 facility will also be done in-house. Sharp expects those projects to cost about $72,000 for materials.

The new tanks and fuel pumps will be purchased now for installation in the spring.

Wayne County has a little more than $4.8 million of its $12.79 million ARPA allotment uncommitted. Costs beyond the $500,000 would likely come from the highway department’s 2024 budget.

Commissioner Mary Anne Butters asked for time during a future meeting to discuss housing projects that ARPA money could fund.

She said Bridges for Life has a Building Together project that rehabilitates multifamily housing. Butters also said she supports ARPA money assisting homebuyers with down payments.

Bridge project

Commissioners unanimously approved plans to replace the deck of a Brick Church Road bridge located between Heiney and Jerry Meyers roads.

The county received $$149,520.25 in Community Crossings money to cover half the nearly $300,000 cost.

Brandon Sanders, the county engineer, said he will advertise next month for bids.


Steve Higinbotham, the county’s director of facilities and development, told commissioners that the project repairing the courthouse exterior will conclude in the spring.

Differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures were creating difficulty with the epoxy used to repair cracks lower on the courthouse. Repairs that needed lifts have been completed to end the expensive renting of the lifts.

The repair project began in the fall of 2022.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 15 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.